One thing I definitely wasn’t prepared for during our season of engagement was how often I wouldn’t see Jody. Most of my time, outside of work, consists of working on the wedding in some shape or form, and most of his evenings are spent at the university where he is taking his graduate classes. Especially with the number of weddings we attended this fall (we love y’all, but three wedding weekends in a row was exhausting!), we seldom had time for just us. We would try to plan one night a week to curl up on the couch and watch a movie, but we would typically end up multitasking through the entire movie — him, reading through social work articles and me, building our wedding website. So much for uninterrupted time.
It turns out that we weren’t the only couple to experience this. A number of my couple friends say that they seem to see each other less after the proposal. While this made me feel better that it wasn’t just me, it still doesn’t help with the stress that we have to deal with, especially when we don’t get that one-on-one time that we want.
We are no experts, but Jody and I have gotten better on making time for us, even in the midst of this busy season. It takes a little bit of planning, and also a little bit spontaneity, which we both excel at in our own ways. Here are a couple of examples of mini date nights that we did, and I hope they’ll inspire you to make time for them too!
- Dinner and a Movie: Jody and I love going to the movies, even though it doesn’t happen all that often. He is a huge Star Wars fan, so I surprised him a couple weeks ago with pre-ordered tickets to go see Rogue One. Pre-ordering the tickets may have been the best decision I’ve ever made — there were no lines to wait it, and it forced us to go, even though it felt easier to bail and just stay home. It was a much needed date night, in the middle of the holiday rush!
- Wedding Tasks Date Night: One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received thus far is to turn your registry event into a date. We decided to do our registry early, so that family could work from our registry as ideas for Christmas gifts. On one of the few free weekends we had, we headed to Annapolis to begin our registry. We took a break in between the two stores for dinner. It was a nice break from talking about the wedding to instead focusing on our first home we will have together!
- Exploring Local Attractions: This was one of our favorite weekend activities when we were in Richmond. There was so much rich history surrounding that area that I was so interested in seeing. After we moved to Maryland, Jody was disappointed we no longer had our miles of trails, but I was excited to show him nearby places that I spent time visiting. One weekend this fall, we made the quick drive to the ocean, where I introduced him to Rehoboth Beach; the beach town I grew up going to in the summers. We have a list of places nearby that we are going to explore next!
- Middle-of-the-Week Dinner Date: Jody has, by far, mastered this mini date night. On more than one occasion, I’ve come home from work to him saying “Let’s go out to dinner tonight”. My little planning heart has a minor heart attack as I think about the food I’ve already bought to prepare, but every single time, it has been so worth it. Whether it is just to Chipotle, the pub or a fancier dinner, spending an hour and a half together, uninterrupted, has reenergized our relationship.
When we are on these dates, we try our best to stick to the rule of “no wedding talk”, to try to soak up as many moments of just us as possible. Of course, sometimes that doesn’t always work, but going into each date with the goal of focusing on our relationship and each other has helped us to continue to grow as a couple through the hectic season of our life.
What dates have you and your partner enjoyed? Let me know in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear some more ideas!